Legacy Planning is a step beyond basic estate planning. With basic estate planning you can leave direct inheritances to your heirs and make a final statement. With a Legacy Plan, you can create special financial and personal inheritances and provide funds for causes that may be close to your heart.
A popular tool of Legacy Planning is Trusts. Trusts, especially Irrevocable Trusts, allow you to create special financial inheritances for your family members. With your spouse, you can create a Trust that will protect assets and avoid estate taxes up to the amount of the estate tax exemption at the time of your death. For your children, you can create special Lifetime Trusts that will provide them with funds until their death. You can also turn Lifetime Trusts into Generation Skipping Trusts that will provide financial assistance to future generations.
With a Legacy Plan, you can also provide special personal inheritances. Perhaps there is a special item with sentimental value that you wish to leave to a certain loved one. Or maybe you want to leave your family with a sense of your individual history. You can write a memoir or a letter to each family member with unique remembrances. For genealogy buffs, leaving a written family history created from genealogical facts is a gift that will continue giving to future generations.
Providing for a Charity
Through the Trusts used in Legacy Planning, you can leave funds for a charity. Creating a Charitable Trust allows you to leave a piece of yourself to your community. Your funds will continue to help others after you have passed away. A Charitable Trust will also provide your estate with a lower estate tax burden.
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